Mamadou Sakho has insisted that he did not mean to disrespect Liverpool when celebrating with Christian Benteke during his side’s 2-1 win at Anfield on Sunday.
Mamadou Sakho came in for criticism after engaging in a celebratory handshake on the touchline as Benteke came back to haunt his former club with a match-winning brace.
“When Christian scored, I stayed seated as I didn’t want to celebrate (out of) respect for the club to which I belong and the fans. But when he came over to me, I stood up and did what we always do as friends … our hand check,” he told reporters.
“There was nothing behind it, nothing else to imply by it. Just two friends who are playing for the same team and who have the same goal, which is to get the three points at each game to make sure the team stays in the Premier League. We were very happy, obviously. We need all the points we can get to be sure to stay in the Premier League – that is our mission.
“That is why I accepted the challenge with Palace, and we need to be the best we can as a team to succeed. If we were losing 2-0 and Christian reduced the score, we would have also done it if he came to me. I still hope Liverpool qualify for the Champions League at the end of the season, and wish them luck.”